Happy holidays from all of us here at Second Story! I hope you are savoring family time, cozy nights by the fire, and the joy of generosity in the midst of the holiday frenzy. Though I’m not one for the cold, this season still enchants me.
This time of year also weighs heavy on my heart for another reason. When we think of the holidays we think of joy, peace, love, family, and comfort, but for a homeless or at-risk young person they dread the opposite: fear, loneliness, hunger, and shattered expectations. Many of them do not have family to celebrate with, warm memories to reflect on, or familiar traditions to look forward to. Joy and innocence has been snatched away from many of them.
It is impossible for me to be wholly festive when I know the truth: that 1 in 10 young people (according to a new groundbreaking study) have experienced homelessness in 2017, that there are young people on the streets with nowhere to go this season, that at-risk mothers and babies are desperate for a safe place to create their own holiday memories.
The holidays are a time for giving back, and I encourage you to think of our own community. Second Story is the only nonprofit of its kind in Northern Virginia, providing unmatched, critical services to our community. With your help, we are fostering safe spaces where every young person has the opportunity to grow and thrive.
Wishing you a joyful holiday season,